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'Yo-Yo' Dieting Won't Harm Long-Term Weight Loss Efforts
Date:8/16/2012

the researchers found no significant differences between those who had a history of yo-yo dieting and those who did not.

The weight cycling did not affect the women's ability to successfully participate in diet or exercise programs, the study authors reported. Yo-yo dieting also did not affect the percentage of body fat and lean muscle mass gained or lost among the women, they noted.

The researchers added that other factors -- such as blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and blood concentrations of hormones that help make people feel full or regulate blood sugar levels -- were also unaffected by yo-yo dieting, because they found no difference between the women who had these past fluctuations in their weight and those who didn't.

McTiernan's team cautioned that obesity is a known risk factor for many cancers, as well as heart disease and diabetes. This is particularly worrisome because two-thirds of the U.S. population is currently overweight or obese.

"We know there's an association between obesity, sedentary behavior and increased risk of certain cancers," McTiernan said in the news release. "The World Health Organization estimates that a quarter to a third of cancers could be prevented with maintenance of normal weight and keeping a physically active lifestyle."

The study was published online this week in the journal Metabolism.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on weight loss and dieting.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, news release, Aug. 14, 2012


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